A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Beach Blanket Birdies

Another hot one yesterday and today is supposed to be the hottest day of the year to date. I have to work tonight. There is no air conditioning in the building nights and weekends when I work. Unlike the poor guards in the lobby who have to swelter in their uniforms, I can wear whatever I want or as little as I want (I work alone) and I can escape into the air conditioned Data Center which is kept at a constant 67F (19.4C) for the comfort of the servers.

I wonder how the wildlife keeps cool in this heat. I laugh sometimes on my nightly walk through the local park when I see one of the feral cats sprawled on its back with its legs spread as far apart as they will possibly go. My own cat is doing the same thing at home in front of a fan. My birdbath has become wildly popular with the fence surrounding it crowded with birds waiting for their turn to cool off.

Yesterday, about noon when I looked out my window, I could see a grackle splashing around and then preening on the fence. I knew the birdbath must be low because no water came out despite his virgorous movements. I decided to brave the midday heat and sun and went out to rinse and refill the birdbath. Boy, am I glad I did.

The next time I looked out the window, there were four birds, two grackles and two LBB's (little brown birds) in the birdbath. In all the years I have had a birdbath, I have never seen that. It is always one bird at a time. Very, very rarely I will see two but they are always a pair, male and female. Never have I seen four birds nor birds of different species sharing the birdbath. I ran to get my camera. By the time I had sneaked out of the door for a better shot, one of the LBB's had gone, but I did manage to get a blurry shot of the three remaining birds.


The poor things must be so desperate for water that they are willing to overlook the usual territorial issues so that they can drink and cool off.

11 Comments:

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Kasmira said...

My kitten, Mr. Tibbs, loves to run around outside, despite the heat and his longish coat. To cool down, he digs into the molehills and presses his belly to the cool earth, panting all the while. Sometimes, I worry about him getting overheated and subject him to a hose shower. He squirms, but doesn't seem to mind too much.

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger Sabine said...

My birdbath still isn't popular. A couple of robins have used it. They splash and make as much noise as a 2-year old in the bath!

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Sylvana said...

Damn you woman and your gnomes!!

 
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